What Is a Flush in Poker?
Flush in poker is a five-card hand containing cards of the same suit regardless of their rankings. For example, a hand like 2h 5h 7h Jh Kh is a King-high flush, named after the highest card in the combination.
When comparing flushes, the winner is always the player with the highest card, so a hand like 5s 9s 10s Js Ks loses to 2c 3c 5c 7c Ac. Suits are not relevant when determining a poker flush strength.
This is a strong poker hand in absolute terms, but it’s important to know what beats a flush so you can plan your strategy.
In all high poker variations like Hold’em, Omaha, and regular stud games, hands that beat flushes are full houses, four of a kind (quads), and all straight flushes.
Those new to the game are sometimes uncertain and wonder does a flush beat a straight, and the answer is yes. Flushes always beat straights, so even the smallest poker flush will beat the best possible straight (Broadway).
A high card flush is especially strong (the one containing an Ace or a King) and it can often be the nuts if the community board isn’t paired.
Poker Flush Odds
The odds of getting a flush in poker are quite decent. This is one of those hands that you’ll see quite often, especially when starting with a suited hand (i.e. two pocket cards of the same suit). Here’s the list of some of the most important flush odds:
- Overall odds of flopping a flush with any hand: 0.2%
- Flopping a flush with a suited hand: 0.98%
- Odds of making a flush on a flop with suited connectors: 0.37%
When you flop a flush draw, i.e. you only need one more card to complete the flush, your odds of actually making the hand by the river are about 35%. This is why these draws, especially to high card flushes, are very powerful in Hold’em and you’ll see players play them fast.